Laura Moser, a failed 2018 progressive candidate who ran in Texas' 7th Congressional District, suggested Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) was giving the party's progressive base "a big middle finger" by hiring the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's communications director.
Moser, who lost her Democratic primary runoff to Lizzie Pannill Fletcher weeks after the DCCC published an opposition research memo against her on its website, castigated Gillibrand for hiring Meredith Kelly as she lays the groundwork for a presidential run. The new hire oversaw the DCCC's media strategy during the midterm elections.
"Why would Senator Gillibrand spend 2 years tacking left – voting against more Trump Cabinet picks than almost anyone else – just to shoot the progressive base a big middle finger with this truly terrible hire?" tweeted Moster, a Houston journalist and the creator of a text-messaging tool instrumental in channeling progressive anger into activism against President Donald Trump.
The DCCC's memo against Moser painted her as a "Washington insider" and as somebody that shows disdain for Texas. It pointed out that the candidate had written in 2014 she would "sooner have her teeth pulled" than relocate to Texas, where she grew up. Fletcher, her primary opponent, went on to win the general election.
The DCCC's strategy, however, backfired among the progressive base of the party, with political operatives and media figures castigating the strategy.
Several candidates accused the DCCC and its highly competitive "Red to Blue" program, which was aimed at unseating Republican lawmakers in districts across the country, of trying interfere in their primaries by endorsing moderate candidates.
In her closing ad "Our Turn," released before the primary vote, Moser painted herself as a grassroots leader standing up to the Democratic establishment.
The committee came under fire again this week by progressive groups in response to new DCCC chairwoman Rep. Cheri Bustos (D., Ill.) tapping moderate, pro-business Democrats to be on the leadership team at the exclusion of members from the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which has over 95 members and is the largest single bloc in the House Democratic Caucus.